By William

VALLEY CENTER – Getting behind against Salina South for the second time in the young season, the McPherson High boys soccer team came back late but were unable to overcome a three goal deficit and lost by a single goal in the second round of the Maize South Tournament played in Valley Center.

The Bullpups fell behind after an early goal by the Cougars who then followed up with another goal which put McPherson at a 0-2 disadvantage going into the halftime break.

After Salina South managed to add a third score in the second half from a free kick, Josh Everhart gave a bit of a spark to the Bullpups by putting a long-range kick into the net over the reach of the Cougar goalie to finally put McPherson on the scoreboard.

With five minutes left in the game, the Bullpups Cody Achilles crossed a ball to Gavinn Henry who then made a great run before finishing it off with a volley to pull the Bullpups to within one goal.

Unfortunately, that is where the scoreboard stayed to the end of the game the Bullpups lost for the second time this season to Salina South.

“Salina started the game more aggressive and scored the opening goal rather early,” noted Bullpup Head Coach Chris Adrian. “They continued to put our team under pressure with lots of shots and corner kicks which eventually turned into their second goal. While we came out in the second half with a lot more intensity, we did give up a goal on a free kick which put us down by three goals. But just like Tuesday night, Josh Everhart gave the team a spark.”

As a team, the Bullpups had but four shots on goal while McPherson goalkeeper Kelvin Peterson had another strong showing in the net by making six saves.

Coach Adrian reflected on the game as he concluded his post-game comments by saying, “This is a difficult game to process and understand. I am extremely proud of how hard the boys played in the second half as being down three goals with 20 minutes to play it would have been really easy for the team to let up and accept defeat, but instead they never quit and kept pushing until they scored two late goals to make the game much more interesting at the end. Unfortunately, the intensity was not there in the first half which is something we coaches will have to address and fix before our next game. Offensively, the team is scoring goals and it is great to see some of the young players begin playing with more confidence in front of the net.”

The Bullpup kickers will close out the Maize South Invitational Tournament on Saturday with the opponent and game time not available at press time.

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